Barbados Parts Ways With the Queen: It came rather late in the day to shed off the British Crown, but Barbados has at last become a republic, which means it no longer pledges loyalty to the Queen as head of state. Not many countries broke away from the British as decisively as India did after independence. But India remains a member of the Commonwealth, a club of sorts of nations that were once a part of the British empire. That clubbing marks a continuing and official shadow of the British empire. Many have long called for it to be disbanded, and at the least for India to walk away from it.
Beti Padhao in Focus: The Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development has made girls’ education in rural India the subject for its end of term event on Friday. The meeting is being addressed by Akshay Mangla, associate professor at the Said Business School and Barbara Harris-White, emeritus professor of development studies. They will look particularly at the government programme Mahila Samakhya.
Appeal for Minorities in Pak: The British parliament does not produce critical remarks over human rights standards just in India. The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Pakistani Minorities has produced a report describing the position of minorities in Pakistan as a “national and international tragedy”. Girls from the Hindu and Christian communities were found particularly vulnerable. The group has made an urgent appeal to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to intervene.
Delhi Gasps for Breath: Together with the requirement for a week of quarantine at home after a negative test result, the air quality in Delhi is persuading several tourists to change or cancel plans to visit India. Delhi recorded its worst November air in six years. That included 11 days of “severe” pollution, with not a single day when the air quality was good. Travellers are speaking of a real danger of falling ill due to pollution rather than Omicron.
Destination Wales: Indian students headed to study in Britain are going increasingly to Wales, one of the four provinces of the UK along with England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The number of Indian students headed to Wales more than doubled this year. A popular centre is the University of Cardiff. It helps that campuses in Wales have very high standards of education, and among the lowest cost of living.